It was a case of trying to find something to complain about.
So it was “the old reliable.”
“Free throws are something that we do every single day,” USC coach Dawn Staley said. “Hopefully, that will continue to get better.”
It’s never been grand under Staley – ironically, the best South Carolina team she’s had at the free-throw line was her worst one record-wise. Her first team, in 2008-09, went 10-18 but was 67.7 percent from the line, the No. 193 team in the country.
Since, the win-loss record has gotten better and the free-throw shooting has mostly gotten worse. Last year’s 67.4 percent was the first time since Staley’s been at USC that shooting had gotten better from the year before; from 2008-09, the free-throw shooting had gotten worse every season, including the worst mark in the country (58.8) in 2011-12 and the next-to-worst (56.4) in 2012-13.
This year, the Gamecocks are shooting 66.4 percent, after USC was 15-of-22 against NCCU. Over the past seven years, there have maybe been three games where better free-throw shooting would have meant a win.
Staley doesn’t want that to become four. Not this year.
“Repetition. You have to keep your same routine,” she said. “We’ll get better.”